Indochina

15 11 2012

I’m feeling slightly guilty that I haven’t updated this blog for a while, it’s looking slightly neglected.

As you may know I recently go married to H, which is probably more exciting to me than it is to you.  Anyway, for our Honeymoon we went to Indochina on a G adventures tour for 3 weeks.  A lot of poeple have asked why we went on a group tour for our honeymoon, there are a lot of reasons.

Firstly, we wanted to go somewhere different, and this tour let us do it in the best way. Secondly, it takes all of the hassle of trying to get to different places, if we had been on our own we would have still been at the Cambodian Border wondering which queue we should get in.  Thirdly, and probably most importantly, if we had gone on our own for 3 weeks, we probably would have ended up divorced, travelling with a partner can be stressful.

It was a gamble, as we could have been in a group with 15 18 year olds on their “Gap Yah, looking for the cultural, spiritual and the best Cash to Lash ratio” (search youtube for Gap Yah to understand that reference).  As it turned out, we hit the jackpot, we had a great group of people led by Chen, who was brilliant.

We spent 24 hours in Bangkok before travelling across the border into Cambodia.  We spent 6 days there Seeing the sights of Phnom Penh, the beaches of Sihanoukville and the incomparable wonder of Angkor Wat (which I could have spent 6 days in on it’s own).

From Cambodia we went into Vietnam for 14 days where a world of night trains, long days, stunning scenery and beaches awaited us, topped of by a day cruising and Kayaking in Halong Bay and a night in a 5 star hotel in Hanoi.

Altogether this was a brilliant 3 weeks in which we both fell in love with the region and we both can’t wait to go back again.

Sorry it’s short, I’ll write again soon.  I promise.

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Bit of a Catch up

12 07 2011

Hey there, long time no type, anyway, I thought that I had better write something as to what I have been up to for the last month or so.

Firstly, H has now moved in to the flat and the Housemate has moved out. Minus a few bits of legal paperwork being done, H now owns this with me, which is why it has been decorated rather nattily, with major thanks to my parents for painting and wallpapering help.

Secondly, we went to Glastonbury, which was wet and muddy, but not too bad. I enjoyed it, but probably wouldn’t go again as I don’t think that as a music festival it is worth the money. For £200 I would have expected to see more bands, but as the place is so spread out you just can’t get to see that many. Still, everything we did see was excellent and there was a lot to do. It just isn’t for me. What I did enjoy was the smaller Avalon stage, with Flogging Molly being the musical highlight of the festival for me (even after seeing Radiohead).

Thirdly, the death of one of H’s close family. This was sudden and tragic (I won’t go into details, but it wasn’t a nice situation for us to be in). Thus we have spent a great deal of time on the Isle of Wight (me mainly dog walking and Tea making. The funeral was lovely though, it was in a woodland burial site and was a graveside service.

So that was last Thursday and we came back from the Island on Friday straight to a wedding on Saturday. To say that we are completely mentally, physically and emotionally drained at the moment is an understatement. I really could do with a holiday (a proper getaway, not one of these stay at home ones). Still 2000 Trees this weekend. Another 4 day week for me beckons.





Marrakech Pt 2.

12 03 2010

Over the course of the next few days we got the hang of the souq’s and how to haggle, we woke up early and got freshly pressed orange juice from the vendor in the Djemma.

We visited some fantastic monuments such as the Ali Bin Yousef Medersa, the 14th century Muslim School. This building is quite spectacular with intricate carvings and mosaics.

For a bit of peace and quiet we headed into the Jardin Majorelle, the wonderful garden set up in the 1930’s and then donated to the city by fashion designer Yves St Laurent.

We also ate some amazing food from Tajines to Kebabs, Prawns, Calamari and Lamb.

On our last day looking around the Souq’s we came across a young guy who was carving on a hand powered lathe and guiding the chisel with his feet. After we had bought some carved ornaments I asked if I could take a photo, which I was allowed to, and then I was told that it was my turn. This was incredibly hard to do and my efforts were quite bodged, but I was pleased with the outcome and had managed to avoid chopping off my toes. It turns out that he had been doing this since he was eleven having learnt from his brother. He was now 17 and a proper craftsman.

After a dodgy start to the week, I had completely changed my opinion about Marrakech, and loved the city, as it is like nowhere else I have ever been before. I think that I would like to go back to Morocco and explore a bit more, but I would probably make sure that I stopped in Marrakech again.

All of these photo’s and a lot more can be found in the Marrakech set on Flickr.





Neglect

25 01 2010

I really have been neglecting this site, but then again I have been busy at work.  Not really busy doing a lot outside of work though.   Fatbob and Bimbo did come down last weekend and we went for a curry, attempted to go to HMS Victory, but it rained and then got tipsy with May-Z. 

I also appear to have writers block back again.





Another One

18 10 2009


Back Garden 036

Originally uploaded by andyspex

I thought that I would post another one of my photo’s. I do like this feature of Flickr, it makes things much easier.





To Dar

19 06 2009

We paid our bar bills at the campsite, had breakfast and then set out on our 2 day drive to the beach at Dar Es Salaam.  The first days driving was fairly uneventful and we made it to our camp at Tembo.  After we set up the tents, myself and Hazel went for a walk with a guide, who took us up far higher and Tembofurther than we thought we would.  Walking through the Villages we were greeteb by kids shouting ‘Jambo’ (hello) and and a few of the braver ones shouting ‘Mizungu’ (White man).  We climbed to a logging camp run by a dutch company, that have helped the area no end.  They have provided jobs in the logging camp and factory, a medical centre and houses for the local people and a school for the kids.  Now our guide was at university, studying tourism and Geography, whith my background we got on well.  In the camp they have a cable car for transporting the cut timberLogging Cable Car and workers, the disparity between the european money and the african shanty towns is there to be seen. 

Back at the camp dinner had been cooked and was a fantastic curry made by Dave and a few others.  Dave, conveniently is a chef at 15, one of Jamie Olivers restaurants, and it was good.  We also had chocolate cake and custard for desert.

The next day was the same again, breakfast followed by a long drive to Dar Es Salaam.  Stopping for lunch, we headed into Dar in the afternoon.  This  is the busiest city that we would go to and definately not one that I would like to drive a truck around.  Rich did blindingly well getting the beast around the tight streets, only once having a problem witha turn, almost hitting an car, and once going down a one way street the wrong way, but we got there, and while Marijke was getting our ferry tickets for the next day we hit the slowest internet cafe in the world.

Getting to the Dar beach was a lot easier, we just drove onto a ferry across the water, the sand was amazing and the water warm.  We walked down the beach and then spoke to some Swiss guys who have become my heroes.  They had bought a van in Switzerland and had driven it through Europe, parts of the middle east and down Eastern Africa.  Apart from a breakdown in Ethiopia and one in Nairobi, it had been plain sailing all the way for them.  They were heading towards Botswana and then to South Africa where they are selling their van.  Maybe someday I will do that sort of thing, but I doubt it.

Anyway, next up passports and yellow fever vaccination certificates at the raedy, were off to Zanzibar.





Hidden Gems #3

17 04 2009

I could have written this about most songs on The Bends, its by far and away my favourite album, but as I have been listening to A Letter from God To Man off of the Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip album that uses this sample, I am going to write about Planet Telex.

While songs like Street Spirit, Fake Plastic Trees and High and Dry get all of the radio air play, and deserved plaudits for being brilliant, the album opener never seems to get a look in.

From the opening bars of the keyboards to hook you in to the album as a whole, and the start of Thom Yorkes falsetto odyssey, the cry of “Everything is Broken, Everyone is Broken” gets me. I’m not sure what this song is about, probably lost love and broken hearts, if its not, then it damn well should be.